ARCY DURAN, FAMILY & FRIENDS ARE "KEEPING THE FAITH"
In April 2014, my husband and I were living some of our happiest moments. We both had great jobs and we had many plans and goals. Among those plans, was starting a family by IVF and adoption, building a new home, taking on new job promotions, and traveling, one of our favorite things to do. Other than having difficulty having a child, God had blessed us in so many ways. After years of failed IVF attempts, I had a hard time understanding why God would not bless us with a child. It would be another year, until I would finally understand that God had other plans for us.
It was during a trip to Niagara Falls in April 2014, that I first noticed a small limp and some fasciculations on my left leg. I thought I had pulled a muscle and that it would eventually go away. As the months went by, I was developing a bigger limp, more weakness, and had several falls. Test after medical test, doctors kept saying my tests were coming back normal.
In May 2015, I traveled to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota with my husband and mother. For a week, I underwent a series of medical tests. At the end of the week, my worst fear became a reality and my life was changed forever. After almost a year of medical appointments, I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. ALS is a progressive, fatal neuromuscular disease that slowly robs the body of its ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe. The life expectancy of an ALS patient is 2 to 5 years. As you can understand, I was in disbelief. After all, I did not know anyone with this “condition”. I thought this “condition” was only inherited genetically but I was wrong. ALS may affectANYONE, ANYWHERE and represents 90 to 95% of all ALScases. "Familial" ALS means the disease is inherited and only about 5 to 10% of all ALS patients appear to have genetic or inherited form of ALS. This crippling disease can strike anyone. Presently there is no known cause of the disease yet it still costs loved ones an average of $200,000 a year to provide the care ALS patients need. Every 90 minutes a person in this country is diagnosed with ALS and every 90 minutes another person will lose their battle against this disease.
For over a year, I did not want to talk about my condition since it meant accepting the diagnosis. I now know what God's plan is for me. I must raise awareness, help raise funds to find a cure and provide support to those who are or will be diagnosed with ALS tomorrow. Something good must come from all this pain and suffering.
In May 2017, my husband and I traveled to Washington, DC to serve as the first Rio Grande Valley ALS Association advocates. The goal was to meet with legislators to help change the laws and policies that affect thousands of persons with ALS and their families. In addition, Team “Keeping the Faith” will be participating again in this year’s Walk to Defeat ALS on Saturday, November 11, 2017 sponsored by the ALS Association. We will be raising funds to bring hope and a cure to people just like me living with ALS and those people that will be given this awful diagnosis tomorrow. Please help us make a difference and make a donation. Any donation amount helps or join the walk and help raise funds today.